Silver lining from Thai flooding’s dark clouds

June 23, 2012 Comments Off on Silver lining from Thai flooding’s dark clouds

Back in November, I wrote about the impact of the devastating Thai floods. Many disk drive factories were damaged or destroyed, and the price of hard drives rose accordingly. A few weeks ago, I speculated that these tragic events might spur innovation (and price cutting) in the solid-state disk (SSD) market, and it looks like this might be coming to pass.

Geoff Gastor over at The Tech Report has done a great job crunching data from Camelegg and analyzing SSD price trends, and the results are impressive:

The current generation of solid-state drives is cheaper than ever, with multiple models living comfortably below the dollar-per-gigabyte threshold.

This is great news for cloud computing, Big Data, analytics, and anything else that requires fast access to lots of data. And given that Apple and many other hardware vendors are moving towards SSD-only storage options, it seems likely that these trends will continue.

Is a price war for solid state disk drives on the horizon?

April 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

A while back, I wrote about the impact of the flooding in Thailand on the price of traditional mechanical disk drives. Since just about every dark cloud has a silver lining, this natural disaster has accelerated the development and maturation of the solid state disk (SSD) market. Naturally, this growing segment has attracted a bunch of new players, and this is a bit unsettling to the established leaders. In response, these vendors appear to be trying a time-tested approach to squash newer and more nimble competitors:

Major SSD firms have initiated price reductions to reflect falling prices for NAND flash chips. The move is also aimed at triggering a price war in the market in an attempt to squeeze out smaller peers, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

From the perspective of cloud computing and Big Data/NoSQL, if an SSD price war does ensue, there’s a very good chance that it will result in further innovations in affordable hosted high-performance databases. In-memory disk drives should also go a long way toward increasing the scalability and predictability of shared cloud-based virtual machine instances.

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